Located in the heart of the oil and gas-rich Permian Basin, Midland, Texas started to go through an exponential growth phase in 2005 due to the increasing demand for energy. The city was feeling the impact of that growth, and in 2007, its major arterial year-over-year traffic volume increased by 17 percent causing traffic management to become a critical imperative. Finding a solution to this traffic congestion was important not only in terms of efficiency of transportation, but also in terms of public safety.
In response to this, the head of the Midland Transportation Department, Gary Saunders, recommended the IP wireless Advanced Transportation Management System (ATMS). The solution runs on a Cisco wireless network with more than 1,500 wireless access points and monitors traffic and provides notification to various departments about the status of 70 pedestrian crosswalk flashers and 119 networked traffic signals. This instantaneous data collection and reporting mechanism has allowed officials to respond with intelligence and swiftness.
The cost savings and benefits are paying off too. The following are some of the key results: 27 percent reduction in total delays per vehicle, 18 percent reduction in total stops per vehicle, and 10 percent reduction in fuel consumption. On four major arterials alone with average vehicular volume, this equates to $1.2 million in annual savings. Additionally, by implementing vehicle detection cameras, replacing wires embedded within the road’s surface and installing cameras, Midland seeks to further enhance its traffic management system. The Traffic Management Center receives real-time video from the cameras enabling the ability to assess or monitor current traffic conditions.